How do you take your acapella? Straight No Chaser of course - U.S. harmony group reschedule UK tour to 2012

Posted: 7th September 2011

15 years ago, Indiana University went about its normal learned business - apart from founding a vocal-harmony group that has since gone on to bother the Billboard chart a few times.

Straight No Chaser are an unknown quantity in the UK, but over the pond they've finally broken through that tricky crossover barrier with three Top 50 albums, the first of which contains the song that kick-started their career, "The 12 Days of Christmas". Originally recorded in 1998, a video of the group's performance was posted on You Tube some 7 years later, spotted by the CEO of Atlantic Records and duly the basis of signatures on contract, a 5-year one at that.

That first album, "Holiday Spirits", appeared in 2008 after several original members from that video (watched by 12 million people to date) reconvened to make it happen. They appeared on various festive shows with this and the follow-up, "Christmas Cheers", eventually performing across the States. However, a glimmer of overseas interest flickered within the British market when the band appeared on BBC's Breakfast, promoting the third and thankfully non-festive set, "With a Twist".

Issued in 2010, it featured pitch-perfect acapella versions of the Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge", Gloria Jones/Soft Cell's "Tainted Love", Coldplay's "Fix You" and the curious medley of the jazz-swinger "You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three" and Beyonce's handbagging "Single Ladies". It limped to #91 over here, but it drew some interest.

Of more immediate interest is the rescheduling of their previously planned UK autumn tour - it's now turned into a 2012 winter tour. Original 2011 tickets will still be valid, but in case you were unawares, the shows will now take place in February, starting with Cardiff on the 5th, followed by Bournemouth, Gateshead and more until London (Union Chapel) and Fareham on the 19th, priced from £19 upwards.

As yet, Weymouth and York haven't been rescheduled - we'll let you know as soon as we hear of any news in that direction.

Paul Pledger